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IRIS

Initial Help for Homelessness 


Role

UX Researcher / Designer

 

Team

Inhae Kim

Monica Posluszny

Jae Jung (Marizol) Park

 

Duration

March - October 2018 

 

 

 

IRIS

Initial Help for Homelessness 

 

Role

UX Researcher / Designer

 

Team

Inhae Kim

Monica Posluszny

Jae Jung (Marizol) Park

 

Duration

March - October 2018  

 

Iris is a mobile platform for the professionals of nonprofit organizations working for homelessness. With Iris, their work can be efficient and effective by asking for instant help to other professionals, searching for other professionals and organizations near the location, and collaborating with other organizations for one homeless person through sharing his documents securely.  

Sponsored by Colourhood

 

Iris is a mobile platform for the professionals of nonprofit organizations working for homelessness. With Iris, their work can be efficient and effective by asking for instant help to other professionals, searching for other professionals and organizations near the location, and collaborating with other organizations for one homeless person through sharing his documents securely.  

Sponsored by Colourhood


Problem

King County has the third-largest population of homeless people in the country - Seattle Times´╗┐

 

Problem

King County has the third-largest population of homeless people in the country - Seattle Times 

 

According to The Seattle Times, more than 70 percent of unsheltered homeless people in the country were concentrated in Seattle. Although many nonprofit organizations are built to help homeless people, the number of homeless people is increasing annually. What are the pain points of nonprofit organizations to help homeless people in Seattle?

 


According to The Seattle Times, more than 70 percent of unsheltered homeless people in the country were concentrated in Seattle. Although many nonprofit organizations are built to help homeless people, the number of homeless people is increasing annually. What are the pain points of nonprofit organizations to help homeless people in Seattle?

 

Insta-msg team

 

Under the mentorship of Project Managers, Andrei Villasana and Katherine Li, four Developers and three UX Designers collaborated in the start-up company, Colourhood, to build a mobile application that can strengthen the process of communication between nonprofit organizations and help the homeless people in Seattle to receive an instant service from the organizations. 

 

 

 

Under the mentorship of Project Managers, Andrei Villasana and Katherine Li, four Developers and three UX Designers collaborated in the start-up company, Colourhood, to build a mobile application that can strengthen the process of communication between nonprofit organizations and help the homeless people in Seattle to receive an instant service from the organizations. 

  

Design Process

design_process_revisedd

User Research

UX team conducted different kinds of research methods to find what we can do to improve the process of helping the homeless people. We interviewed with Program Manager in Outreach Team at Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) and Case Managers in University Presbyterian Church (UPC) and found their pain points and desires. 

During the interviews, we learned that homeless people rarely carry a phone. Although the government provides them a phone, they have a hard time finding a place to charge their phone, and if lost, they had to pay back in order to receive another phone from the government. One thing that we found was the strong connection within the organizations can shorten the time of accomplishing the goal of the homeless person by providing accurate information based on their experience. Then, we researched Fulcrum, the mobile app that MID is currently using, and HIPAA compliant to learn the rules we need to follow.

iris_interview&web

Fulcrum is a platform that provides mobile app templates to the businesses and their contents with collected data. However, it had limited templates for certain industries. Since it does not provide a template for a nonprofit organization working for homelessness, the Program Manager in MID wanted to redesign the app by including what they really need. However, he had to pay thousands of dollars to Fulcrum and gave up redesigning the app. So we decided to focus on what the professionals need in order to help the homeless people by making a tool to strengthen the connection among the organizations. 

 

 

Fulcrum is a platform that provides mobile app templates to the businesses and their contents with collected data. However, it had limited templates for certain industries. Since it does not provide a template for a nonprofit organization working for homelessness, the Program Manager in MID wanted to redesign the app by including what they really need. However, he had to pay thousands of dollars to Fulcrum and gave up redesigning the app. So we decided to focus on what the professionals need in order to help the homeless people by making a tool to strengthen the connection among the organizations.  

 

Ideate

After conducting interviews, we transcribed the interviews and created the affinity diagram that contains all the pain points, desires, and their past experiences of working for the homelessness. Then, we were able to organize the user requirements and a persona to present the result of the research to the project managers and the developers. 

 

User Requirements

While organizing the user requirements, I learned how easy it is to think of what we designers want to create, rather than what the users need. So we went back and forth to the transcribed interviews to understand their situations and make sure to prioritize their desires and pain points. 

1. Communicate with other organizations quickly during office hours and outside of office hours.

2. Find basic but updated information of organizations, such as services and working hours.

3. Receive and give permission from individual professional to share data between organizations during

referrals.

4. Find emergency services outside of office hours.

5. Connect to different organizations and to individuals that can help a homeless person in the moment.

6. Receive notifications when the homeless person has been reached out from other organizations.

7. Make a profile for each homeless person that includes their documents, goals, and histories.


 

 

User Requirements

While organizing the user requirements, I learned how easy it is to think of what we designers want to create, rather than what the users need. So we went back and forth to the transcribed interviews to understand their situations and make sure to prioritize their desires and pain points. 

1. Communicate with other organizations quickly during office hours and outside of office hours.

2. Find basic but updated information of organizations, such as services and working hours.

3. Receive and give permission from individual professional to share data between organizations during referrals.

4. Find emergency services outside of office hours.

5. Connect to different organizations and to individuals that can help a homeless person in the moment.

6. Receive notifications when the homeless person has been reached out from other organizations.

7. Make a profile for each homeless person that includes their documents, goals, and histories.

 

Persona
Joel_persona
Design Charrettes

After presenting the research results to the team, we conducted a design charrette to brainstorm together with the entire group. One of the cool ideas we had during the exercise was to have a newsfeed page where a staff of the organization can upload a post to find the right professional who can help the situation. Most of the team members agreed that we want them to find out who is online to get instant help at the moment.

design_charrette

Design charrettes with the entire team

Design charrettes with the entire team

 

Scenarios

Using all the idea from the exercise, designers could organize three scenarios to ideate the features and sketch the screens in a flow of interaction. 

Scenarios

Using all the idea from the exercise, designers could organize three scenarios to ideate the features and sketch the screens in a flow of interaction. 

 

Sketches

Sketching the screens using the three scenarios helped us to draw out the interaction flow of the users and organize a sitemap.

Sketches

Sketching the screens using the three scenarios helped us to draw out the interaction flow of the users and organize a sitemap.


Sitemap
 Sitemap

Prototype & Evaluate

Based on the ideation, we made a paper prototype and conducted usability testings with the same interviewees. Taking their opinions and feedbacks, we made changes and created a wireframe that shows all the workflow.


Paper Prototype
Paper Prototype
paper_prototype

 

Usability Testings

During the study, we used InVision to put out paper prototypes and let the interviewees interact with the design as if they are using with their phones. This helped us to observe and understand their behaviors of navigating the design. These are the notes I took during the usability testings. 

usability_testing_notes

Notes taken during the usability testings

During the study, we conducted with the three scenarios in the ideation. The Program Manager in MID complimented how uploading the post on the newsfeed is informative and simple. But he also mentioned that not to include the name or the photo of the homeless person in the newsfeed post due to security rules from HIPAA. So we decided to take out any personal information in the post but to keep it generic yet informative. 

During the study, we conducted with the three scenarios in the ideation. The Program Manager in MID complimented how uploading the post on the newsfeed is informative and simple. But he also mentioned that not to include the name or the photo of the homeless person in the newsfeed post due to security rules from HIPAA. So we decided to take out any personal information in the post but to keep it generic yet informative. 

He also commented that he likes how he can upload numerous files with many documents attached in the homeless person's profile because Fulcrum limited to have only two documents per file. But he wanted to have more customizable options for each profile. So we decided to have a personal goal in each profile where the case manager can add the goals of the person that needs to be completed on a certain date. 

 

He also commented that he likes how he can upload numerous files with many documents attached in the homeless person's profile because Fulcrum limited to have only two documents per file. But he wanted to have more customizable options for each profile. So we decided to have a personal goal in each profile where the case manager can add the goals of the person that needs to be completed on a certain date. 

  

Image from iOS (2)

In the second usability study, Case Managers from UPC liked how they can send a message directly to the professional in different organization and work together to help one homeless person. However, she told us that there can be a situation where more than two organizations collaborate to help the person. And sometimes, the person may only allow them to share a certain part of the document instead of the whole document. 

In the second usability study, Case Managers from UPC liked how they can send a message directly to the professional in different organization and work together to help one homeless person. However, she told us that there can be a situation where more than two organizations collaborate to help the person. And sometimes, the person may only allow them to share a certain part of the document instead of the whole document. 

So we added a new feature where they can select a specific part of the document and share to one or more organizations. We designed a new screen where they can view the original document and shared document. And in the shared documents, they can add and view a case note to announce or get notified what is going on with the person. 

 

So we added a new feature where they can select a specific part of the document and share to one or more organizations. We designed a new screen where they can view the original document and shared document. And in the shared documents, they can add and view a case note to announce or get notified what is going on with the person. 

 

Image from iOS (1)

Wireframing
Wireframing
wireframe

 

 

Hi-Fi Design


 

Hi-Fi Design

 

iris_heroshot

 

Takeaways

As a first project of the startup company, there were many ups and downs. One designer and two developers decided to quit in the middle of the project because the project required lots of time. We had neither a professional UX Designer nor a stakeholder from the nonprofit organization. We UX Designers revisited our textbooks from User Research course and Interaction Design course to find what we need to follow throughout the design process. This helped me to learn independently and build my design and communicating skills while working with my team. Because we did not have a stakeholder in our team, it was hard for us to understand what the users really need, but I encouraged myself and the team to think in the users' perspective. Although we put lots of effort to make the process of helping the homeless person be more efficient, the project managers decided not to build this project unfortunately due to security reasons from HIPAA. I really enjoyed designing for one of the biggest problems in Seattle and hope that this can be built and used in reality soon. 

 

 

 

  

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